A poster child of the dot-com boom, LinuxCare has rebranded itself “Levanta,” raised another round of capital. BusinessWeek profiles the company though it’s rise and fall and attempt to rise again and I found the details rather amusing.
Levanta sounds a lot like erectile disfunction drug Levitra but it’s possible the company may be able to get their finances up again. Renaming the company seems like an attempt to hide from its past, which BusinessWeek covers in detail. Some highlights from the company’s history.
- Raised over $70 million in venture capital, including big names such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
- Threw a party for thousands of people at LinuxWorld in New York shortly after raising capital, including many smoke machines, lasers, bands, arcade games, and free food/drink.
- Filed to go public in January 2000, despite over $20 million in annual losses.
- An abrupt resignation by the CEO and CFO.
- Big layoffs in the summer of 2000.
- The company landed contracts with SGI, Motorola, and Maxtor in January 2001 and was able to raise a few more million dollars in venture capital.
- Changed its name to Levanta, the name of a positively received product, in 2004.
- Raises about $14 million in venture capital in 2006.
Founder and former CEO Arthur Tyde is back, helping the company develop new business in Southeast Asia. The former private investigator took the job under encouragement from his therapist to help him “deal with his demons.”
LinuxCare contributed some good cash and code to open source projects over its years, but still remains a poster child of the buzzword exuberance of the late 1990s. The BusinessWeek article made me laugh repeatedly and hopefully some lessons can be learned from the past.